7 Replies Latest reply: Jun 28, 2013 10:55 AM by Trey
Trey Level 5 Level 5 (4,220 points)

Hello,

 

I hope someone here can provide me with some guidance on this, as I'm about at my wit's end.

 

I have a client who has recently purchased a new iMac to replace her aging ~2008 iMac. The old iMac had at some point been serviced by a third-party company who for some reason

 

1.) reinstalled the entire OS (possibly for legitimate reasons... she doesn't know why)

 

2.) created a new user for the client, but misspelled her name

 

3.) put all of the previous user data into a directory on the desktop instead of where it should have gone (eg Pictures to Pictures).

 

Somehow, when they did #3, some of the content of the iPhoto library went into the new library in ~/Pictures, but some of it remained in the directory on the desktop. I realized this when I moved ~/Pictures from the old iMac to the new iMac. When we tried starting iPhoto, it would

 

1.) complain about permissions because of the misnamed user - repaired using iPhoto's repair permissions function, also reset ACLs for user's home folder via the resetpassword utility.

 

2.) even with the permissions repaired, it would look for certain files that were located in the directory on the desktop of the old iMac, and crash if you tried to link them (I moved the files to the new machine).

 

3.) when we could get it to start up properly, none of the photos would display correctly.

 

None of these issues could be repaired by iPhoto Library First Aid. I tried something like five times, and alternated between copying via the Finder and Carbon Copy Cloner, thinking that maybe one would be better about setting the correct permisions than the other.

 

None of this stuff worked, and the client has been left without a workable iPhoto library. Has anyone experienced issues like this? Moving an iPhoto library is usually such an easy procedure, but this time it's been an utter nightmare.

  • 1. Re: Moving a totally messed up iPhoto library
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,850 points)

    The problem sounds like the user (or someone...) has a mixed library - part managed and part referenced.

     

    I would suggest: Download iPhoto Library Manager and use its rebuild function. (In early versions of Library Manager it's the File -> Rebuild command. In later versions it's under the Library menu.)

     

     

    This will create an entirely new library. It will then copy (or try to) your photos and all the associated metadata and versions to this new Library, and arrange it as close as it can to what you had in the damaged Library. It does this based on information it finds in the iPhoto sharing mechanism - but that means that things not shared won't be there, so no slideshows, books or calendars, for instance - but it should get all your events, albums and keywords, faces and places back.

     

     

    Because this process creates an entirely new library and leaves your old one untouched, it is non-destructive, and if you're not happy with the results you can simply return to your old one.

     

    The added advantage: it will list all the photos it can't find, so you'll be able to dig them out of the many folders and import them to this new Library.

  • 2. Re: Moving a totally messed up iPhoto library
    Trey Level 5 Level 5 (4,220 points)

    Thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention that iPhoto Library Manager was my next option, but I wanted to make sure it could handle this before I had her pay for it. I think that as long as her albums are intact, she'll be Ok.

  • 3. Re: Moving a totally messed up iPhoto library
    Trey Level 5 Level 5 (4,220 points)

    Actually... one other thing is that the hard disk in the old iMac seems to be on the decline and runs VERY SLOWLY. I don't guess you know whether iPhoto Library Manager can work from a Time Machine backup?

  • 4. Re: Moving a totally messed up iPhoto library
    LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (56,675 points)

    the free trial version of IPLM will do the rebuild - pruchase is not necessary

     

    LN

  • 5. Re: Moving a totally messed up iPhoto library
    Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (123,850 points)

    Rebuild with Library Manager does not require a purchase. Nothing except Time Machine can work with a TM back up, it will have to be restored first.

  • 6. Re: Moving a totally messed up iPhoto library
    LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (56,675 points)

    Nothing can work from a Time Machine backup - you must first restore the TM backup to disk before accessing it

     

    See for details on using Time Machine - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1427?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

     

    LN

  • 7. Re: Moving a totally messed up iPhoto library
    Trey Level 5 Level 5 (4,220 points)

    Thanks, I didn't want to restore from TM because her previous user account is so FUBAR'd. Also it would add quite a few steps to this process, and she's already impatient, understandably.